When I first started blogging, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no other social media to speak of - well, at least known to/used by me. This blog was my main means of consolidating and archiving my thoughts and my life adventures. It was an online journal. And, if blogging also meant that my archiving, my journaling, would lead others to read and enjoy my writing and photos and make me an internet celeb then I was okay with that too! Not that anyone ever read this blog, mind you :) But that didn't stop me from coming here regularly, writing my little entries and posting photos.
Eventually, I did get into social media, first Facebook, then Twitter - which I really didn't and don't use-, and then Instagram. Initially, they were all apples and oranges and the blogging continued, especially my daughter's blog because it was our main vehicle for helping the relatives to feel connected to her. Over time though, blogging seemed less relevant and my attention shifted to posting on Facebook almost exclusively, then, depending upon the content, to Instagram, or both. With Facebook and Instagram, I sacrificed a more detailed text, which sounds funny given how relatively short my blog posts tended to be, but I did gain a wider audience. And the immediate gratification of "likes" and quick comments made sharing via Facebook and Instagram much more satisfying than blogging, where I rarely received comments or even knew if anyone was reading (at the time, I didn't know about the traffic stats on blogger). As my presence became more prominent on Facebook, especially, and Instagram, it diminished on this blog. My last blog post was from 2012.
How do I feel today? Well, I still love Instagram, but I'm not lovin' Facebook much. Here's a random, brainstormed laundry list of why: it's too social, annoying braggers/humblebraggers, newness has worn off, overposters, selfie overload, too public. Too public. That's odd considering. Above all, Facebook feels like a competition, it feels fake, it feels intrusive, it is a place where I don't feel like I can be myself anymore.
Interestingly, one thing that I have always been afraid of doing regardless of the platform, even back when I was keeping a written journal, even going all the way back to like middle school, is revealing my true self, exposing my true thoughts. In my writing, I was/am always mindful of this imagined audience that I might have. You know, the person along the way -- the sibling, the parent, the friend, the spouse, the offspring, the ? -- that discovers your journal and is disappointed, hurt, mortified by what they've read. That's why keeping it semi-real is what I've done, and continue to do. Back in the day though it used to just be the judgement of those in your inner circle of family and friends that you had to fear should your private thoughts be revealed. Nowadays, the circle has widened thanks to the internet. Your thoughts - should they been deemed too politically incorrect or scandalous - might get you not only the private scorn of those you do know and but also the public scorn of those who don't. And, as a bonus, you might get fired, not hired, or denied whatever.
Don't get me wrong, transparency, accountability, all good things. But it does mean that now, more than ever, we have to be aware of our online presence. Of what we say, and how we say it. Facebook and the like encourage irresponsibility as far as I am concerned. It's far too easy to write and publish a post. Even in the time that it takes for you to regret it and delete it, someone has undoubtedly seen it and made a screenshot of it. In my line of work, I can't afford that. And, yes, it too can be done with a blog post. But blogging does take more time to write, with a few more steps to publish, giving one more time to think about what they're about to publish.
So where is this three year in the making post going you ask? Well, allow me to make a list.
1. I'm returning to blogging.
2. Why? Mostly because I hate Facebook but also because I want to write more. I miss it. I want a more detailed archive of my life for future reference.
3. I want a place where I can be more myself. While I would never reveal too much or intentionally say something damning or insensitive, I at least want a place that affords me the possibility of a context. Facebook doesn't offer that and it's a too impulsive platform.
4. I like Instagram for photos but I might want to share a few more than what I feel comfortable doing on either Facebook or Instagram. My blog is a space that allows me that luxury.